9 MUST KNOW MYANMAR TRAVEL TIPS 2018 - PART 1
Travel to Myanmar now
Myanmar is an epic country that is changing so fast and we urge people to get there soon. You can still climb up several of the Bagan pagodas but over time we can only imagine this will end. UNESCO will eventually let us only view the best temples of Bagan from a distance. Right now you can rent an e-bike in Bagan and explore temples that are not even on the tourist map. If you’re looking for a unique honeymoon, a honeymoon in Myanmar couldn’t be a more romantic place.
Use local currency
Like many places in the world, you’ll always get a better deal if you pay with the local currency Burmese kyat. Exchange rate in January 2018 $1 USD = 1,350 kyat. Restaurants will usually accept USD if that is all you have, but you won’t get a favorable exchange rate. Most restaurants were offering $1=1,200 kyat.
We do however suggest bringing enough USD for 3-4 days of spending, just in case you don’t get to an ATM or the ATM isn’t working. We’d suggest bringing at least $150 USD per person and tucking it away with your passports. No matter where we travel we always have some emergency cash on hand.
Take money out at the ATM
Back in 2012, Myanmar didn’t have a single ATM machine and tourists had to bring new USD bills in pristine condition and exchange money in Myanmar. This is no longer the situation. Now in 2018, there are over 1,000 ATM machines in Myanmar. All major tourist cities and some hotels will have them. We personally used the ATM in the Mandalay airport, on the main road in New Bagan, and in Inle Lake. We saw them everywhere, there was even one in the middle of the lake in Inle.
Note that every machine we used had a maximum withdrawal limit of 300,000 kyats (about $225USD) per transaction. We were also noticed several places in Myanmar accepted credit cards, so just in case you are running low on cash you may be able to use your credit card, however, there may be fees. We settled our hotel bill at the Amata Garden Resort in Inle Lake on our credit card.
Apply for a Myanmar e-Visa online
The easiest and fastest way to get a Myanmar visa is to apply for the Myanmar e-Visa online. Apply online the week before and within 3 days your e-Visa will be emailed to you. You just have to print it and show it at immigration. If you prefer, you can still visit a Myanmar embassy and apply for your visa in person. The price for a visa is the same no matter where you apply, but let’s get real who really wants to go back and forth to an embassy to pick up a visa?
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